City’s ‘I Speak Football’ program wins VicHealth award

Melbourne City FC’s ‘I Speak Football’ program has won the 2018 VicHealth Victorian Sport Development Initiative of the Year at the VicSports Awards on Wednesday night.

The program addresses the issues of social exclusion and isolation for young people from various backgrounds using the universal language of football and has gone from strength to strength over the past four years to be recognised by VicHealth and various other community organisations.

Melbourne’s multicultural fabric is evident where 58% of people have one or both parents born overseas. I Speak Football uses the world game to promote diversity and inclusion, training leaders and participants in English language skills, life skills and football coaching.

It has been a special year for the ‘I Speak Football’ program, with the program earning the most fan votes in the global Cityzens Giving campaign.

Head of Community Sue Crow says it has been testament to the tireless work from CITC employees and volunteers;

“It’s a really proud moment for myself and everyone involved with the ‘I Speak Football’ program to be recognised with this award,” Crow said.

“To see the program progress from its beginnings to what it is today is something we are all really proud of at Melbourne City and I would like to thank everyone who has played a role in the success of ‘I Speak Football’.”

Football is a universal language and City in the Community’s I Speak Football project brings together youth from a range of different backgrounds to help them to address isolation and loneliness in our diverse society.

Starting in 2015, the program has seen exponential growth, expanding to three programs between 15 young leaders and over 400 people participating from a range of different cultural backgrounds.